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When Did You First Start Playing?

My First Exposure to playing music was with my seventh Birthday gift a Xylophone.

My little color notes and banging out the simple nursery rhythm tunes were great enjoyable fun.

This was followed by a harmonica from my parents that was in two keys depending on how you breathed into it.

I joined the chorus in school and watched our elementary music teacher on a new two-manual organ and her also playing the 88-key grand piano without watching her hands! How is that possible to make all these sounds with so many motions?

This brought me to purchase from groceries coupons a Chord organ from the S-&-H Green Stamps Store in Binghamton, NY. The music book notes were again in colors and showed you what fingering was necessary with the chord buttons for accompanying. I was hooked!

The early music time in my life with singing in the chorus and playing a few instruments was fun but not fulfilling the dream of the bigger keyboards.

It was time to learn the actual notes! My sister had a spinet at her home for the family there to learn.

The oldest daughter was not interested in following on with lessons and a few glances at each visit brought me to the next part of my curiosity to “Ask my Neighbor!”

My point of reference for learning the notes of the score from my books was from taking on the Trombone and then seeing where it was played on piano key notes. Amateur efforts in the elementary band; but finished my sixth-grade graduation exercises with The Holy City solo performance.

Meanwhile, the neighbor on Sundays offered me a snack, time of sharing stories of her life, bible verse for the week to recite to her, and an old Erie Canal 66-key upright piano! Perfect! I will just set and play like in my sister’s home from sounds! That was stopped with the closing of the lid with “YOU are going to learn your notes!”

Three weeks later was the parent-teachers night for my review of the mid-term. On Wednesday night of the conference, my parents asked the elementary principal if his wife was interested in our antique lamp for sale. The visit on Friday from the couple ended that week with “Why the sale?”

My parents replied, “My son has a gift for playing the need for a piano is $400 we don’t have the money to buy one right now!”

The reply was made “My home has a piano, and you must keep your lamp, it is an heirloom piece.” “But should you ever want to sell it, I would offer you $65.” Have your son talk to my husband’s office staff on a bus schedule and stop date on Thursdays to start his lessons! I was Hooked! Yes, Lessons!

Purchasing from our old collections the local antique salesmen, along with my dad’s life policy dividends, and the help of Weeks and Dickenson’s Piano Sale and Delivery, October started my winter adventures in music lessons.

18 months later we sold the farm home and moved to a mobile home park in Chenango Forks.

My sister’s piano teacher was their church organist. Remembering that she had times on Wednesdays before Choir offered me a lesson slot for the next three years. I completed Level Six Advanced studies!

What was next during the time of studies was The National Piano Teacher’s Guild that was hosted on the Third Floor of the very music store my purchased Kimball Spinet came! The requirements were 10 memorized pieces with adjudicator review ending with a plaque, awards certificate, and inclusion in the Who’s Who of Musicians in the USA with 93%, 96%, and 98% were my grading for 1973-75.

College days were approaching now with many challenges to prepare the right handwork and portfolio required a teacher brush-up in qualifying for an entrance audition consideration. My closest friend on the paper route had an organ in the same store as the recitals on the fourth floor. She offered me 10 lessons and said – you are as far as you need to know on the organ, just practice the settings and footwork a little bit and you’re into a great musical life, Be Adventurist!

This was fine, but what about my hand fingering, touch, and sound on the piano keyboard?

The same neighbor offered me a referral to the music department at Binghamton University. There was given eight lessons to help in advancing the Level 6 additional help into my entrance performance recital.

After graduating from Chenango Forks Senior High School, I was accepted as Music Major in the fall of 1977 to Practical Bible School, Johnson City, NY. Played for the high school graduation awards ceremonies and in the church as a youth choir pianist.

1978-1979 Music Major transferred to Baptist Bible College of Clarks Summit, PA (Clarks College of PA today).

Recitals and playing for advanced student recitals, singing in the 50-voice Collagen Choir that toured, also assisting in off-campus weekend events as an accompanist for churches was a great experience performing.

My time in music store studios or private instruction has included all ages and traveling with performances in the tri-county areas of New York, and Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Collective libraries from friends, community, family, and my own enjoyment have built the collection performance guides that are partially included in my website.

My favorite music is Christmas!

The rest of life’s tunes are wonderful and enjoyable to play as well as performance crowds engage in their own trigger-point memories attached to these lyrics and sounds of the past that bring a happy cherished time in their listening lives.

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